Witness of the Spirit

Most of the people who have sought help from our ministry struggle with the assurance of their salvation. In many cases they have fallen victim to the accuser of the brethren. They are plagued by condemning thoughts. “How can you even think you are a Christian, when you can’t even control your own tongue, or keep from sinning.” Satan can’t do anything about your identity and position in Christ, but if he can convince you to believe that you are not union with God, then you will live as though you aren’t.

Many have confessed their failure to overcome some habitual sin. I ask them, “Does it bother you when you know you are sinning?” For those who say that it does, I respond by saying, “That is pretty good proof that you are a true believer.” If you are not experiencing any remorse for your sins, then you don’t have a seared conscience, you have no life in Christ. If your body is the temple of God, the Holy Spirit is not going to sit silently by while you sin. How can one know the difference between the devil’s accusations and the conviction of the Holy Spirit? The apostle Paul answers that question in 2 Cor. 7: 9,10; “As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

Judas betrayed Christ, and experienced a worldly grief and hung himself. Peter betrayed Christ, and he did so three times. He came under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repented, and became a spokesperson for the early church. So if you have been open with God in confession, but keep getting hammered about your sin, that is not the Holy Spirit condemning you. I have seen Christians share their darkest sins while repenting and leave with no regrets. They are free, and the Holy Spirit is bearing witness with their spirit that they are children of God. Ultimately the only authoritative assurance of our salvation comes from God. I can’t give you that assurance, but God can and He does for all those who truly believe and repent of their sins.

Dr. Neil

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